Family Law and Divorce Attorney serving Tavares, Leesburg, Eustis, Mt. Dora, The Villages® community and surrounding areas

(352) 343-0091 500 W. Caroline St., Tavares, FL 32778

Tuesday
February 6
2018

I want to adopt my stepchild, what do I do?

stepchild adoption floridaYou are considered a stepparent when you are married to the biological parent of a child but are not the child’s other biological parent. A lot of people assume that a stepparent obtains immediate parental rights simply by marrying a child’s parents, but this is not the case. 

There are several complexities that arise in stepparent adoption proceedings. A stepparent must first find out if he or she meets the Florida law requirements for adopting the child. Florida law allows stepparents to adopt in one of two situations. The first is, of course, consent of both biological parents. The second is termination of the non-custodial parent’s parental rights.

When one parent’s rights are terminated, that parent is usually no longer responsible for child support payments, but will also no longer have the protection of the courts for his or her relationship with the adopted child. 

If everyone can agree, the next step in stepchild adoption is to file a petition. The petition must include information regarding the length of time the stepparent has resided with the child or children, the stepparent’s reasons for seeking the adoption, and the stepparent’s relationship to the biological parent. The petition must also include judgments terminating parental rights.

The hiring of a skilled and dedicated attorney is crucial to the success of stepparent adoption and can save you and your family a lot of time and money in the long run by getting it right the first time.

Take the first step.

You don’t have to do this alone.

If you need help getting through the divorce, custody or support process, then contact the offices of Benjamin J. Cox and we will be glad to help.

Or, you can call our office at (352) 343-0091.

Or, you can stop by our office in downtown Tavares, just steps from the Lake County Courthouse.

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Benjamin J. Cox, Attorney at Law
500 W. Caroline St.
Tavares, FL 32778

(352) 343-0091 (phone)
Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm
Saturday 9am to 12pm
Special appointment times by request

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